Anxiety in the "age of hypertension"


In the USA, hypertension affects one in three adults, and anxiety disorders are the most commonly diagnosed mental health disorders. Both hypertension and anxiety have been studied extensively. Yet, a full understanding of anxiety’s relationship to hypertension has been elusive. In this review, we discuss the spectrum of anxiety disorders. In addition, we consider the evidence for acute and long-term effects of anxiety on blood pressure. We review the effect on blood pressure of several “real-world” stressors, such as natural disasters. In addition, we review the effect of anxiety treatments on blood pressure. We explain the American Heart Association’s recent recommendations regarding meditation and other relaxation methods in the management of hypertension. We conclude that novel research methods are needed in order to better elucidate many aspects of how anxiety relates to hypertension.

Current Hypertension Reports, 16(10)